About the Big Lie

Lying to thyself and/or others usually precedes
the period of development of the person’s hatred
to thyself and/or others in any society.

Image by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons amended by author

A couple of years ago I wrote a little book called "Short Truths" about how the world works. There was a chapter in it about the lie. I'm quoting it here in full:

There is a lot of lies around.
International organizations lie about their ability to solve problems of humanity. National elites lie about the equality. Capitalists lie about the free market. Socialists lie about happy future.
Governments and politicians lie that they work for people. People lie that they elect their governments and politicians.
Democrats lie that current aristocracies are the "democracies". Authoritarians lie that they are democrats.
Science lies about its understanding of the world. Religion did that before.
Central banks lie about the inflation. Commercial banks lie that lending money is a help. Doctors lie that they want their patients to feel good. Economists lie that the US economy is world's #1.
Men and women lie for having or not having sex. All humans lie about their greatness, cleverness and exceptionality.
Trump just lies.

Only children under 7 years old don't lie and see everything as it is. So far.


The lie sows doubt. It creates an alternative to the truth and one has to choose between two versions of "reality" (both of which can be false).

People usually are drawn more towards the lie than towards the truth. Truth is usually uncomfortable because it exposes a problem and then something has to be done about it, but people don't like to force themselves. You can do nothing, though it can probably be worse afterwards. Everyone knows this, but they don't want to change anything, the situation worsens and this makes them angry, but people always find arguments to defend themselves and blame others for their troubles.

For example, you've been smoking for years and you know that it's bad for your health. It is easier not to notice this truth, and the persistent repetition of it by your relatives is just annoying, because it is clear to you, too, that you need to quit smoking. But you don't want to and you can't, you have tried that many times before... Maybe it's better not to quit completely, but to try to reduce the number of cigarettes per day, chew gum, go to some courses, to doctors or switch to lighter cigarettes or electronic ones... This is moving away from truth into lie and self-deception.

A lie is more convenient than truth, it calms you down because you don't have to do anything (at least right now). Payback may come later, but also it may not come... Besides, it is later, not now... And everyone knows it is necessary to keep a positive attitude in life, so for now you can ignore the problem.

Lies and injustice engender hatred.

Lying to thyself and/or others usually precedes the period of development of the person’s hatred to thyself and/or others in any society. Hatred is a powerful negative energy and various tyrants and dictators have always sought to manipulate it.

For example, V. Lenin and the Bolsheviks demanded that all power be transferred to the Soviets (Councils) of workers and soldiers, gained support from them for October coup in 1917, but finally power in the Russian Empire went to the Communist Party, led by V. Lenin himself. The hatred of all against all spread throughout the Russian Empire and during the Red Terror, unleashed by the Bolsheviks between 1918 and 1922, 50,000 - 200,000 people were executed according to various estimates. In addition, about 5 million people died of starvation at the same time (1921-1922).

It is interesting to know that the term “Big Lie” (Große Lüge) as a propaganda technique was coined by German dictator Adolf Hitler while he was writing his book “Mein Kampf” in 1925. According to Hitler, a lie had to be so colossal, that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously." Initially, the Nazis used the Big Lie to turn sentiment against Jews and justify the Holocaust. Between 1941 and 1945, about 6 million Jews died at the hands of Nazis.

Mr. Putin’s Big Lie.

President Putin has been creating a parallel reality for the Russians with the help of the "Big Lie" technique for many years. Around 2008 he began his false accusations of the rebirth of fascism in Ukraine and blamed the West for supporting the rising of the far-right extremism and Nazism there. Then he added violations of the rights of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population, unofficially sent Russian troops in Crimea and Donbass in 2014, accused the Ukrainian government of massive deaths of civilians there, blamed the West for fueling the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the expansion of NATO to the east… Finally, on February 24, 2022 Mr. Putin has issued a statement that Ukraine was a fascist, neo-Nazi country propped up by the West, which committed the genocide of Russian-speaking inhabitants. From his point of view, Ukraine needed “demilitarization” and “denazification”, and Ukrainian elected rulers were “a band of drug addicts and neo-Nazis”. On this day, Mr. Putin started a full-scale war. Even though all these claims have been debunked with the time, Mr. Putin and his propaganda kept reiterating the same narratives until now.

A particularly grave case of a professional liar is Russian Foreign Minister S. Lavrov. He stated on March 10, 2022: “We are not planning to attack other countries, and we did not attack Ukraine.”
After that, a normal person would have a natural question – why talk to the Russians?

All of these large-scale lies were prepared primarily for the Russian average citizens and really have had an impact: the Russians in their majority supported the bloody war of conquest in neighboring Ukraine. However, one has to pay for one's principles and there are large numbers of Russians who quite sincerely defend Russia in Ukraine and really die, fighting NATO and Nazis who are not there. On the contrary, the Russians themselves have become such Nazis because they believed, that there were no Ukrainian state and Ukrainian nation. But Ukrainians don't want to become Russians, so they have to fight for that and also pay with their lives for their principles.

Mr. Putin succeeded in melting his Big Lie into hatred and directing this hatred (or stupidity?) of Russians toward Ukrainians. As a result, the number of dead and wounded in the Russo-Ukrainian war, that has been going on since 2014 is in the hundreds of thousands.

Mr. Trump’s Big Lie.

Politicians almost always lie (ok, distort the truth) with a serious and intelligent look that impresses the voters, and then there is a little interest in verifying these statements. People are mostly guided not by WHAT, but by HOW it was said, so all politicians dress alike, glibly say incompatible things, and often smile.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg stated in her article for “The New York Times”:
Over the past two decades, institutional changes in American politics have made it easier for politicians to lie. The proliferation of television political talk shows and the rise of the internet have created a fragmented media environment. With no widely acknowledged media gatekeeper, politicians have an easier time distorting the truth. And in an era of hyper-partisanship, where politicians often are trying to court voters at the extreme ends of the political spectrum, politicians often lie with impunity.

When the fact checking of statements of different politicians is made, they are declared "politically motivated" by their opponents, and then the usual partisan fight ensues. This is why I have never been interested in listening to debates between politicians or even future presidents: it is a staged political show, like professional wrestling in the US.

The Big Lie was brought to big US politics by D. Trump.
In the beginning there were little things which almost no one paid attention to - like unsubstantiated assertions that Barack Obama was not born in the US and therefore had no right to be the president. Why didn't Mr. Obama sue Mr. Trump for defamation?

As the president of the US, Mr. Trump has made tons of false claims. I once saw on the news a lady-journalist who told to Mr. Trump at the press conference: «This was a false statement, sir”. Mr. Trump immediately stopped talking to the press and walked away with his fist raised victoriously above his head. That was very useful for Mr. Trump, but why has nobody sued him for lying? I don't know whether it is possible to sue for lying in the US. If so, Mr. Trump could have been made a beggar a long time ago.

Wikipedia states:
After the 2020 United States presidential election, the campaign for incumbent President Donald Trump and others filed and lost at least 63 lawsuits contesting election processes, vote counting, and the vote certification process in multiple states, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Among the judges who dismissed the lawsuits were some appointed by Trump himself… Nearly all the suits were dismissed or dropped due to lack of evidence. Judges, lawyers, and other observers described the suits as "frivolous" and "without merit".

On January 6, 2020 Mr. Trump's false multiple claims about the "stolen election" went into action: a crowd of his followers stormed the Capitol. Only after two years, on December 19, 2022 the Jan. 6 select House Committee voted “to refer former President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation and potential prosecution for trying to overturn the 2020 election”.

It is unclear as of now how the investigation of Department of Justice goes and how close it is to an indictment against the former president.

Interesting in this sense will be the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit of “Dominion Voting Systems” against Fox News. “Dominion” is trying to prove that the Fox News hosts knew that Mr. Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election were false, but aired this lie anyway under the guise of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. Rupert Murdoch, a chairman of media empire that owns Fox News, acknowledged under oath that several hosts of his networks endorsed Mr. Trump’s false narrative.

The moment of truth for American nation is coming – whether the US is really a country of law (as it is commonly believed) or there is a caste of untouchables (D. Trump, in particular) as it is rife in almost any democratic or authoritarian country.

The most important question, however, is whether the US so called “Deep State” is so weakened by partisan strife or so much corrupted, that it allows Mr. Trump to escape responsibility for the attempted coup d'etat?

Then the Big Lie and injustice will prevail in the United States. And so will the hatred.

P.S. Dear Reader! I am very much interested in your opinion on the subject of this article. Please, write a comment or ask a question if you want to clarify something.
Igor Chykalov
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